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How to start a Freelancing Career

by Evalyne Ndanu
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A freelancer is someone who is self employed and not necessarily tied to one employer. They often provide services to multiple clients. It is a type of self-employment, freelancers work for themselves.

Freelancers are able to work from anywhere and anytime. They have flexibility. In Freelancing, the Freelancer is the Brand. They are the representation of their business. If you want to get into the freelancing space, here is how to start a freelancing career.

Define Your Why

While Freelancing comes with its pros, which are undeniably tempting, it also comes with its cons. When you are starting out you will most likely not have a defined income and getting clients isn’t necessarily easy. The only thing that will keep you in check is your ‘why?’.

The why question is not only relevant in Freelancing but across every profession.

It therefore paramount that you ground yourself in your Why. Why do you want to get into freelancing? Of what value will it add to your life? Is your Why strong enough to weather the storms that may come? Does it align to your goals, ambitions and values?

A clear why is a good foundation for Freelancing.

Find Your Niche

A Niche is an area that you will choose to focus your skills on. It is the particular space and field that you would like to work in.

Finding Your Niche again means you need to dig deep, ask yourself some questions. What are you particularly interested in? What would you find yourself doing anytime without anyone necessarily pushing you. In parallel to this, Are you aware of your personality type and in which field would it best thrive?

Freelancing in a field you are passionate about will create the momentum for you to scale up. Stop for a moment and analyze where your strengths, passion and experience lie. They will be the steps towards growing a successful Freelance career.

Learn skills

Learn and Grow the Necessary Skills

Freelancing doesn’t mean less work, on the contrary, you will need to put in effort to learn and grow. After you have identified your Niche, it is now time to get your hands dirty.

It is time to engage. If you have the necessary skills for the niche you Identified, Kudos! But it’s only the beginning, you need to scale up. For anything you do, choose to become the best in it. Skills range from beginner level to Intermediate level to Professional level. Set your eyes on your goals and your Why.

If Your Niche is a new field, an unknown territory, Bravo! You are in for a learning ride. Especially because it is something you have keen interest on, you will learn and there is vast of content online to learn from. No excuses.

The beauty of life is that no one is born knowing everything, we all begin somewhere.

Identify Potential Clients and Contact them

Now you are on the right trajectory. You have the skills in your bag and are ready for the next thing. You chose Freelancing to be able to bring in some income. Income is from the customers that you will serve.

Identify potential clients who you would offer your services to. Write them down, make a list with the specific service that you would be offering to each. You can source your potential clients from Social media, especially LinkedIn, you can look within your circle, family and friends as well.

After listing them, contact them and make a pitch. Make sure your potential clients truly have a need and there is a gap that needs to be filled.

You get paid for solving problems, therefore diagnosis the right problems while Finding Your Niche.

Portfolio

Create a Portfolio

Whether you have landed a client or not, you can create a Portfolio. A portfolio introduces you and your work to the world. It entails details of your self, Education, the Skills, Qualifications and Experience you have.

There are different ways of going about building your Portfolio, you can have your own website detailing what you do, you can also put up your portfolio on platforms such as LinkedIn, Upwork, Fiverr, Indeed.

A portfolio introduces your Personal brand. It represents you.

Make sure the brand you are building is solving a problem and it is easy for people to find and reach out on you.

Find a mentor

Mentorship is advantageous. It is in mentorship where you get to be hand-held by someone who has walked the journey you are currently walking. It is the upper-hand that will help you get started and climb up.

There are various ways to find a mentor, explore them. A mentor sees beyond you. Additionally, a mentor introduces you to opportunities that you didn’t even know existed. Mentors also benefit from mentorship.

The dynamics of Freelancing are constantly evolving and new challenges coming up. You need someone on your side to help you navigate.

You are never too strong that you don’t need help

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